Page:Sun Tzu on The art of war.djvu/146

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  1. 辭卑而益備者進也辭强而進驅者退也


A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping.

Chang Yü says: “In apportioning the defences for a cantonment, light horse will be sent out to survey the position and ascertain the Weak and strong points all along its circumference. Hence the small quantity of dust and its motion,”


24. Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance.

“As though they stood in great fear of us,” says Tu Mu. “Their object is to make us contemptuous and careless, after which they will attack us.” Chang Yü alludes to the story of 田單 T‘ien Tan of the Ch‘i State, who in 279 B.C. was hard-pressed in his defence of 卽墨 Chi-mo against the Yen forces, led by 騎劫 Ch‘i Chieh. In ch. 82 of the Shih Chi we read: “T‘ien Tan openly said:' ‘My only fear is that the Yen army may cut off the noses of their Ch‘i prisoners and place them in the front rank to fight against us; that would be the undoing of our city.’ The other side being informed of this speech, at once acted on the suggestion; but those within the city were enraged at seeing their fellow-countrymen thus mutilated, and fearing only lest they should fall into the enemy’s hands, were nerved to defend themselves more obstinately than ever. Once again T‘ien Tan sent back converted spies who reported these words to the enemy: ‘What I dread most is that the men of Yen may dig up the ancestral tombs outside the town, and by inflicting this indignity on our forefathers cause us to become faint-hearted.’ Forthwith the besiegers dug up all the graves and burned the corpses lying in them. And the inhabitants of Chi-mo, witnessing the outrage from the city walls, wept passionately and were all impatient to go out and fight, their fury being increased tenfold. T‘ien Tan knew then that his soldiers were ready for any enterprise. But instead of a sword, he himself took a mattock in his hands, and ordered others to be distributed amongst his best warriors, while the ranks were filled up with their wives and concubines. He then served out all the remaining rations and bade his men eat their fill. The regular soldiers were told to keep out of sight, and the walls were manned with the old and weaker men and with women. This done, envoys were despatched to the enemy’s camp to arrange terms of surrender, whereupon the Yen army began shouting for joy. T‘ien Tan also collected 20,000 ounces of silver from the people, and got the wealthy citizens of Chi-mo to send it to the Yen general with the prayer that, when the town capitulated, he would not allow their homes to be plundered or their women to be maltreated. Ch‘i Chieh, in high good humour, granted their prayer; but his army now became increasingly slack and